By Army Staff Kaitlin Feyma
The last several years for women in the military have been filled with firsts. In 2012, the first ever female was promoted to a general officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 2015, the first two females graduated from Ranger School and earned their Ranger Tab. And in January 2016, for the first time in U.S. military history, all military occupations and position opened to women.
While the implementation of Army Directive 2016-01 has certainly made it easier for females to serve in whatever capacity in the military that they are qualified for and want to serve in, women have proven themselves as knowledgeable and capable members of the military throughout history, no matter the job or circumstances. And, now, the 416th Theater Engineer Command of the U.S. Army Reserve has given us one more instance where female service members have proven their abilities.
For the first time in Army history, an engineer command has an all-female chain of command, from the division level down to the company. Maj. Gen, Miyako Shanely, commander of the 416th TEC, who is the first female in the U.S. Army engineer branch to achieve the two-star rank, Col. Michelle Link, 372nd Engineer Brigade commander, Lt. Col. Abigail Cathelineaud, 397th Engineer Battalion commander, Cpt. Tashima McMurray, commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 372nd Engineer Brigade, and her first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Connie Cavanaugh, all hold command positions within the same engineer division.